Gifts that keep on giving: more than half of us will receive a re-gifted present this year

  • Top reasons for re-gifting and why it’s higher this Christmas
  • Is re-gifting acceptable?
  • What are the most popular items to be re-gifted

George Michael famously sang “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day, you gave it away” but it’s not just hearts that people are passing on this Christmas. Unused Birthday and Christmas presents are being rewrapped and re-gifted more than ever this year as consumers look for ways to keep the cost of Christmas down.  

In a new survey by online fragrance retailer, more than half (57%) of people in the UK are planning to re-gift presents this Christmas. This is around 35.5 percent higher than last year according to research1

Top reasons respondents gave for re-gifting were:

  • To save money (58% said it was to cut down on spending)
  • To reduce waste (12% of people are also doing it to be more socially responsible)
  • It’s something they always do (6% said they always save previous gifts to re-gift)

Interestingly, presents AREN’T regifted just because the recipient doesn’t like them; indicating that it’s more of a frugal decision. Only a third said they re-gifted an item because they didn’t like it.

Others took the decision because they didn’t need it (23%), they already had it (9%), they want to save money by re-gifting nice things (27%) and because they know the person who gave the gift won’t know if they don’t use it (7%).

51 percent donate UNWANTED Christmas gifts (that they don’t like) to charity, while 19 percent sell them, 15% bin them and 10% put them in the loft.


So is re-gifting acceptable?

The survey of 1,899 UK adults found that giving away presents is more acceptable than ever – 55 percent believe that it is now more socially acceptable to re-gift than ever before.

Only 33 percent said that re-gifting is an absolute no, no.

What is more, almost half (48%) said that they would have no problem in receiving a present that had been re-gifted, as long as it was still thoughtful and something they would appreciate.

On average each household is planning on giving up to three re-gifted presents over the festive period. A third (33 %) said that over the past 12 months they had consciously put gifts aside to give as Christmas presents.

Women are more likely to re-gift gifts given to them than men, according to the research. 78% of proclaimed re-gifters identify as women compared to just 19% of people who identify as male.


And what are the gifts to look out for?

Health and beauty products are the most regifted types of items.

Within this, bath sets came in number one.

Body lotions are number two and the third most popular item is fragrance.

Alcohol – such as champagne – is another frequently regifted item, especially if it’s boxed. Followed by chocolates.

The least regifted category of item was clothing, including the obligatory Christmas sock gift.

One in ten people admitted that they have made the social faux pas of giving back a gift to the same person that the received it from.


 Jonny Webber, from, (pictured above) said: “Whilst a few years ago re-gifting was something people didn’t really talk about, it is fast becoming a savvy way to approach your Christmas present giving – helping to save money and reduce the amount of unwanted gifts that can easily end up landfill or gathering dust.

“Increased acceptability has likely been swayed by this year’s big focus on pre-loved fashion. Ebay’s sponsorship of Love Island helped to reinforce messaging that rather than discarding items, for some products it can make sense to give them a new lease of life with a different owner.

“Re-gifting isn’t about passing on a used items though, it’s about thinking about how we can all save money if we don’t need an item or have put something away in case it can be re-gifted. It’s more about over consumption and being more conscious about opening something that you don’t really need or that someone else you know would be more grateful of. There is an etiquette around it.

“Similarly, we hear more and more about consumers buying discounted products to keep in a gift drawer – buying a bargain when they see it and keeping it for gifting. This is a really good idea. As we’ve just seen with Black Friday, many retailers only offer such high discounts once a year – so stocking up and then keeping these products as gifts across 12 months or for Christmas makes good practice.

“Fragrance is ideal for this as it’s not something that is massively trend-led, many of our best sellers are classic fragrances that are popular year after year, and they don’t have short use by dates.”

Jonny added: “Regifting with the right intention and with integrity is for us, and the majority it seems, totally acceptable – often it’s about reducing waste and giving the gift to someone else who might appreciate it more than you do.

“It’s wise though to keep a log of who gave you the gift so as not to return it back to them, and to ensure the person who gave the gift and who you’re giving it to aren’t in the same social circles to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings!”

  1. A poll in 2021 by reported that 22% of people regift unwanted gifts

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